It’s one of the most common tropes in movies and TV. Two people with intensely different personalities come together and fall in love. We romanticize this idea, but is it what makes up a healthy relationship? If you’ve struggled with relationships in the past and you’re embarking on a second marriage, you may want to consider all the ways you can find common ground with your new spouse. There is a big divide between complementary differences and fundamental differences. Here are a few things to think about before you get married again.
Core values are your deeply held beliefs. It’s difficult for people to be on completely different ends of the values spectrum and be able to have a healthy and productive relationship. When you are considering a relationship that you hope will become a long-term marriage, consider if you’re on the same page about the most important aspects of your life.
While having things in common isn’t a prerequisite for a relationship, it does help to bond people together. You don’t have to do everything together every day, but having some common interests can give you a starting point. It’s refreshing to enjoy some of your favorite things with someone else. If you can’t think of common interests, consider ways that each of you can join in one something the other loves to do.
For your differences, however, it’s good for them to complement one another. For example, if someone is shy and struggles in a social situation, their extroverted partner can help break the ice. It’s when your personality strengths clash that can make a successful relationship different. Take some time to consider each other’s strongest qualities and determine if they clash or complement.
Of course, relationships are not black and white. There are a million shades of gray in between. Consider the things you love about your partner and what drew you to them in the first place. When something comes up that you don’t love, is it worth the price of admission? Are there other things that bond you together or is it a deal-breaker? If you work through these issues instead of letting them fester, you’ll be much more successful in a second marriage.